All images © Marvel. From VAULT OF EVIL #1, Feb 1973

This article covers two Marvel horror books with no other connection than alphabetical proximity. When Gaspar Saladino came back to Marvel freelance work in late 1972, one thing they put him on right away was doing logos and cover lettering for horror comics, something he was already known for at DC Comics. He did both on the first issue of this title, which ran 23 issues from 1973-75. Gaspar’s wide, angular balloon lettering is partnered with lots of his scary styles in the captions and logo, but I don’t think he did the line above the logo.

From VAULT OF EVIL #2, April 1973

Gaspar’s open display lettering was generally also angular with pointed corners, as here. The other cover letterer starting around this time was staffer Danny Crespi, and their work is sometimes similar, but Danny’s was usually softer and more rounded, with heavier outlines.

From VAULT OF EVIL #4, Aug 1973

Gaspar also used oddly-shaped block letters to suggest horror, as in this blurb.

From VAULT OF EVIL #8, Dec 1973

Using a story title in a word balloon can be tricky, but this one works perfectly in my opinion. I would have connected the tail to the other balloons, though, to make it clear who is saying it.

From VAULT OF EVIL #10, April 1974

This word balloon is a study in what and how to emphasize for drama, again handled well by Saladino.

From VAULT OF EVIL #12, Aug 1974

Great use of a scary balloon style on this cover at upper right.

From VAULT OF EVIL #15, Nov 1974

Marvel’s production people loved to reverse Gaspar’s captions, which sometimes makes them harder to identify, but that’s not the case here.

From WEIRD WONDER TALES #1, Dec 1973

Another fine logo by Gaspar for this series, which ran 22 issues from 1973-77, mostly reprinting old 1950s stories. Lots of Saladino lettering here, but the burst right of the logo is press-down type he sometimes used.

From WEIRD WONDER TALES #2, Feb 1974

This is the kind of thing often seen in editor Julius Schwartz’s science fiction titles at DC, but Marvel did some too.

From WEIRD WONDER TALES #6, Oct 1974

More typical Marvel fare on this cover, with great Saladino lettering on GHOST in the lower caption.

From WEIRD WONDER TALES #11, Aug 1975

I love Gaspar’s style for SHANGRI-LA in the bottom caption for a scene that reminds me of Doctor Strange’s origin.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:

VAULT OF EVIL: 1-2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 15


That’s eleven in all. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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